Kreimier’s exercises boost reading speed |

Kreimier’s exercises boost reading speed

RIFLE ” Carrie Kreimier has always loved to read.

But the 15-year-old Rifle High School freshman said she didn’t always read as quickly as she’d like.

“When I was younger, I was a good student, but I was a slower reader,” Carrie said. “I remember the frustration I felt, because everyone else would be done and I would still be reading.”

That’s what inspired this Rifle native to develop an award-winning science project that will take her to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Portland, Ore., in May, where she’ll compete with students from the U.S. and 40 different countries.

‘The kids love it’

The project developed during Carrie’s accelerated science class. Each student was assigned to complete an independent science project and present it during Rifle High’s science fair in February.

Carrie devised three different exercises ” one centered on visual tracking, another on sounds and hearing and a third on body coordination ” each designed to improve reading skills (see box on next page).

Next, Carrie contacted eight second-grade teachers at Wamsley and Highland elementary schools in Rifle.

“The teachers were so excited,” said Carrie. “Even with their busy school schedules, they were so willing to be a part of my project with the kids.”

For five to 10 minutes each day, seven classes practiced Carrie’s reading activities. One class didn’t participate in any exercises so Carrie could determine if the exercises improved reading at all.

“The kids just loved it,” Carrie said. “The teachers told me they’d ask, ‘When are we going to do our reading exercises?'”

So she could track students’ progress, Carrie collected the students’ scores on the Rigby reading tests, standardized tests the students took at the beginning of the school year.

Following her project, the students took the tests again and Carrie compared the results by graphing each student’s progress on a spreadsheet.

With the tally complete, Carrie determined that students improved the most when exposed to the visual tracking exercise. Students who practiced the body coordination exercise combined with the other two activities also showed reading improvement on their Rigby tests.

The teachers are continuing the reading exercises with their classes.

Off to the internationals

Besides helping to devise a valuable learning tool, Carrie’s science project took a first place in her category at Rifle High School’s science fair in February.

From there, Carrie and the other top seven science project winners qualified for the Colorado Science and Engineering Western Slope regionals held in Grand Junction on March 6. There she took second place.

Now, Carrie’s getting ready to attend the state science fair competition in Fort Collins from April 8-10. And best yet, her second place regionals finish qualified her to attend the international science fair competition May 8-15 in Portland.

“I’m really excited about that,” Carrie said. “I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest.”

Carrie said she’s received a lot of encouragement from the schools’ literacy coaches, Amy Spradlin and Judy Greene, as well as Shirley LeMoine, a retired science and math teacher from Rifle.

“They’ve been so helpful,” she said.

Science aside

Carrie said besides science, she enjoys math and writing, and has served as a peer tutor.

But she’s got other interests, too.

“I like sports,” she said. “Softball, basketball, and this year I’m in varsity golf.”

Besides sports and studies, Carrie works sometimes for her uncle, Cal Roberts, who owns two Glenwood Springs-based shops, The Watersweeper and the Dwarf and Teddy’s Corner.

Although she said some kids at school think there’s nothing to do in Rifle, she thinks differently.

“It’s calm here,” she said. “You can do whatever you want. You don’t have to have a mall to have something to do.”

Carrie’s parents, Ed and Barb Kreimier, got away from shopping malls when they moved to Rifle from Littleton in 1980. Carrie’s brother Eddie is 17, and younger sister Marcy is 13.

“I think Eddie wants to be a heart surgeon and Marcy wants to be a dentist,” Carrie said.

Carrie said she’s not completely certain what the future holds for her, but she’s interested in “all sorts of things.

“I might want to be a nurse at a children’s cancer hospital, or I might want to be a teacher,” she said with a smile. “Maybe a reading teacher.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

Carrie Kreimier’s award-winning, three-month science project involved a series of visual, hearing and cross-body exercises:

Auditory: Using a cookie sheet with magnetic letters placed on it, students identify and repeat aloud different sound combinations letters make when put together.

Bilateral coordination: Students first place their palms together and trace an “8” in the air, crossing over the midline of their bodies.

Visual: Students’ eyes get a tracking workout by reading a paragraph in a story where they are asked to circle vowels. The next day they read the next paragraph, circling vowels.

The verdict: Students who practiced the visual exercise had the highest improvement rating. Next were those who practiced combinations of the bilateral coordination activity, along with the other exercises.

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